Gillian Ayres National Museum Cardiff

Abstract pioneer: Gillian Ayres untold story in largest UK exhibition at National Museum Cardiff

A major exhibition at National Museum Cardiff celebrating the work of one of Britain’s most renowned abstract artists, Gillian Ayres. This is the largest exhibition of Ayres’s work ever seen in the UK, opening on Saturday 8 April. It tells the untold story of the influence of Wales on her life and work.

In the 1950s, Gillian Ayres was a pioneer of abstract painting, making work on a vast scale. She explored colour and space by pouring, dripping and staining paint onto the canvas.

She was a leading figure in a generation of British artists who were responding to the latest international developments in Paris and New York, including the work of American Abstract Expressionists.

This exhibition presents a unique opportunity to see Ayres’s greatest works from the 1950s to the 1980s. It features loans from major public collections installed alongside rarely seen paintings from the artist’s own collection.

Across this period Ayres was a regular visitor to Wales and her experience of the mountains of Wales had a powerful influence on her expression of the ‘abstract sublime’.

The exhibition is supported by the Colwinston Charitable Trust, Alan Cristea Gallery and a Jonathan Ruffer Curatorial Research Grant from the Art Fund.

The Gillian Ayres exhibition at the National Museum Cardiff runs from April 8 to September 3, 2017

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(from a press release)